Palestinian security detains 35 Hamas members in fresh W.Bankcrackdown

By Xinhua

Ramallah : Palestinian security forces arrested 35 Hamas members in West Bank, including two prominent leaders who had been released after brief detention, the Islamic movement said on Sunday.

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“In Ramallah, the security services detained Sheikh Hussein AbuKwaik and Sheikh Faraj Romana, leaders of Hamas in the city,” Hamas said in a statement faxed to the press.

The two leaders were soon released but the rest 33 members remained imprisoned, Hamas said, adding that they were taken from the cities of Jenin, Salfit, Tulkarem and northern Ramallah territories.

Abu Kwaik and Romana were known for their moderate stances towards Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and his Fatah movement.

On more than one occasion, the two called on Hamas to end its control of Gaza which strengthened in June when Hamas fighters routed pro-Abbas security forces in the coastal strip.

But they were detained for delivering statements to the media on Saturday criticizing the detentions against Hamas members by the security forces of President Abbas.

Since Hamas took over Gaza in June, the pro-Abbas security forces have been cracking down on Hamas supporters in West Bank for fears of moving Gaza fighting to the relatively-stable West Bank.